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The Human Cosmos

A Secret History of the Stars

Jo Marchant



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01 October 2020
Social & cultural history; Mathematics & Sciences; Cosmology & the universe; Popular astronomy & space
For most of human history, we have led not just an earthly existence but a cosmic one. Celestial cycles drove every aspect of our daily lives. Our innate relationship with the stars shaped who we are - our religious beliefs, power structures, scientific advances and even our biology. But over the last few centuries we have separated ourselves from the universe that surrounds us. And that disconnect comes at a cost.

In The Human Cosmos Jo Marchant takes us on a tour through the history of humanity's relationship with the heavens. We travel to the Hall of the Bulls in Lascaux and witness the summer solstice at a 5,000-year-old tomb at Newgrange. We visit Medieval monks grappling with the nature of time and Tahitian sailors navigating by the stars. We discover how light reveals the chemical composition of the sun, and we are with Einstein as he works out that space and time are one and the same. A four-billion-year-old meteor inspires a search for extra-terrestrial life. And we discover why star-gazing can be really, really good for us.

It is time for us to rediscover the full potential of the universe we inhabit, its wonder, its effect on our health, and its potential for inspiration and revelation.
By:   Jo Marchant
Imprint:   Canongate
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Edition:   Export/Airside - Export/Airside/Ireland
Dimensions:   Height: 215mm,  Width: 135mm,  Spine: 22mm
Weight:   360g
ISBN:   9781786894038
ISBN 10:   1786894033
Pages:   368
Publication Date:   01 October 2020
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  General/trade ,  Primary ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Dr Jo Marchant is an award-winning science journalist. She has a PhD in genetics and medical microbiology from St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical College, London, and an MSc in Science Communication from Imperial College. She has worked as an editor at New Scientist and Nature, and her articles have appeared in the Guardian, Wired, Observer, New Scientist and Nature. She is the author of Decoding the Heavens, shortlisted for the Royal Society Prize for Science Books, and Cure, shortlisted for the Royal Society Prize for Science Books and longlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize. @JoMarchant |

Reviews for The Human Cosmos: A Secret History of the Stars

An epic of forgotten geniuses, lost treasure, death-defying underwater exploration and egomaniacal scientists * * LA Times * * Praise for Decoding the Heavens: A dizzyingly brilliant thing . . . Whatever else it might once have told its creators, the Antikythera mechanism bears a chilling message for our technological age * * Telegraph * * A diligent and useful work that makes the case for 'holistic' medicine while warning against the snake-oil salesmen who have annexed that word for profit * * Sunday Times * * Turns the mind-body debate on its head * * Times Literary Supplement * * A revved-up, research-packed explication of the use of mind in medicine * * Nature * * [Marchant has a] flair for finding inspirational figures . . . the studies are irresistible, and they come in an almost infinite variety * * New York Times * * [Marchant] surveys with grace what we think we know, and what we would like to know, about the mysterious and troubling relationship between our minds and our bodies * * Guardian * * Praise for Cure: Should be compulsory reading for all young doctors * * New Scientist * * This thematic, engaging overview of our stars and skies has something for all readers of geography, exploration, religion, philosophy, and politics * * Library Journal * * Vast in scope and meticulously researched this brilliant book traces humanity's enduring relationship with our physical and cultural ancestors: the stars. Full of fascinating stories, Jo Marchant weaves astronomy with astrology, mathematical physics with gods and spirits. It made me question my reality and left me starstruck -- GAIA VINCE * * author of Transcendence and Adventures in the Anthropocene * *

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